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I-Team: Eagle Stadium Failed 2012 State Disability Inspection

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Allen-Eagle-Stadium
(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Mireya Villarreal
A native Texan, Mireya was born and raised in the Rio Grande Val...
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ALLEN (CBSDFW.COM) – An I-Team investigation into Allen Eagle Stadium shows more problems than just the cracks on the concourse.

In Texas, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) makes sure the construction of new buildings is compliant with the Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS). TAS ensures individuals with disabilities have access to public buildings and commercial facilities. Unlike the American Disabilities Act, which is on the federal level, TAS requires inspections and follow-ups if a location isn’t compliant.

While continuing our investigation of Allen ISD’s football stadium, CBS 11 I-Team Investigative Reporter Mireya Villarreal got a hold of the district’s failed inspection.

In October 2012, a state licensed specialist found the following issues out of compliance:

  •   A ramp leading up to the stadium’s main entrance was too steep and needed guardrails
  •   Parking spots weren’t correctly sized
  •   Coat hooks inside bathroom stalls weren’t placed at acceptable
  •   Seating areas around the stadium didn’t meet knee clearance requirements

Seven months later, May 2013, the inspector sends a reminder letter asking the school district and their engineers, PBK Architects, if the violations have been fixed. But again, gets no response.

A representative for TDLR confirms to the CBS 11 I-Team, neither Allen ISD nor PBK Architects, submitted anything to the inspector within the required 270 days. On August 19, 2013, the state stepped in and sent a final notice to Allen ISD asking them to comply with their requirements.

According to TDLR records, Greg Suttle, Allen ISD’s Facilities Director, sent a letter dated October 16, 2013 stating they had fixed all the issues and were TAS compliant.

(In Texas, TAS does not require that a re-inspection be done after an owner has stated they are in compliance.)

“The big problem, the big hole in Texas law is inspection after that,” Kenneth Carden, a Dallas-based disability and civil rights lawyer, told us. “The building owner or the head of the public entity writes a letter to TDLR and says, we have a report and we’ve gone out and fixed everything, that’s all TDLR needs.”

Carden says all of these issues were easy fixes that could have been taken care of within days. But that doesn’t diminish the importance.

“It’s not about most people using it, it’s about everybody being able to use it,” Carden added.

Allen ISD’s Superintendent Dr. Lance Hindt did not want to talk about this report on camera. However, through the district’s media spokesperson, he sent the following statement:

“The work cited on the inspection report was completed within the TDLR required 270 days from the date of the inspection. The paperwork that needed to be filed with TDLR was not filed on time by PBK, our agent on this project, but the work was completed. Ultimately, the paperwork was filed in October 2013 and the issue was resolved. Again, it is important to note that the TDLR corrections were completed within the 270 days but unfortunately the paperwork was not submitted within the required time frame.”

SCROLL BELOW TO READ COMPLETE TAS REPORT OBTAINED BY CBS 11:

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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